Here is the 'Bear Bread' recipe that is a tradition for Christmas in my house!!! It smells so yummy and sweet when it's done, hope you enjoy our chubby little bears!
:: Golden Teddy Bear Breads ::
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110)
1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/3 cup warm milk (about 110)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
About 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
:: Directions ::
-In the large bowl of an electric mixer, add yeast to water; let stand about 5 minutes. Stir in butter, sugar, vanilla, milk, salt, and 5 eggs, then beat until combined. Stir in 3 cups of flour; beat on high speed until smooth and stretchy, about 6 minutes. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups flour. If using a dough hook, beat on high speed until dough pulls cleanly from bowl sides.
-To mix by hand, stir with a heavy spoon until flour is incorporated.
-Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. (Or child until doubled, 18 to 24 hours.)
-Scrape dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead to release air; add flour as required to prevent sticking. Cut dough in 4 equal pieces; cover until ready to shape.
-For each bear, divide dough quarter into these portions: 3 tablespoons for arms, 3 tablespoons for legs, 1/2 cup for body, about 1/4 cup for head, 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons for ears, face features, and belly button.
-Follow pictures above as you shape a bear; each shaped piece should be about 1/2 inch thick.
-Roll arm and leg portions into 8-inch-long ropes. Shape into arcs on a greased 12-by 15-inch baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart at their centers. Press center 3 inches of arcs, then brush flattened portions with egg-milk mixture.
-Shape body dough into an oval 5 inches long, gently pulling top surface toward underside to make smooth. Place body on flattened part of arcs. Press and tuck bottom of trunk underneath arc to secure. If necessary, pull arms and legs to make each 2 1/2 inches long.
-Shape head into a ball, pulling top surface toward underside to make smooth. Press into a 2 1/2-inch-diameter circle. Press top 1/2 inch of body to flatten; brush with egg-milk mixture.
-Place head on pan so it overlaps flat part of body; press to seal.
-Shape 2/3 of remaining dough into 2 ears. Flatten 2 spots on top sides of head, about 1/4 inch in; brush with egg-milk mixture. Press ears in place.
-Roll remaining dough into 4 or 5 balls, 2 for eyes, 1 for belly button, 1 for nose, and 1 for snout, if desired. (Make nose and snout pieces slightly bigger.) With a finger, poke small holes in bear for dough pieces. Brush holes with egg-milk mixture. Place dough in holes. Loosely cover bear with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until puffy, 25 to 30 minutes.
-Shape dough for remaining bears; knead to release air before making body parts.
-When each bear is puffy, gently brush with egg-milk mixture. Bake in a 350 oven until golden, 16 to 18 minutes. If baking 2 bears at time in 1 oven, switch position of pans halfway through baking.
-Cool on pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack. Serve warm or cool. If made ahead, wrap airtight and freeze up to 1 month. Makes 4 bear breads (3/4 pound each); each serves 2 to 3.
-Recipe makes four bear; each serves three. Egg-rich dough is perfumed with vanilla
-Brush flattened portions of arm and leg arcs with egg-milk mixture, then put oval body in place. -Egg and milk serve as glue to keep joints secure
-Press ears into flattened head spots, also brushed with egg. Next, copy face of bear at left or one on page 71. Bear looks skinny, but will grow chubby in the oven
:: peace and love ::